The Best Job in the World
By: Kaitlin Hulsy
I just watched one of my comedic heroes, Dave Chapelle, kill it at yet another event honoring his craft. For somebody who does stand-up(badly), watching Chapelle work a crowd of comics is like watching a master class on comedy.
Something that really hit home was Dave’s assertion that comedy is the “best job in the world.” Not that my opinion is worth a lick, but I have to disagree. Teaching, I would argue, is the best job in the world. Like comedy, teaching is not something that you miraculously master after one day in front of a podium. As educators, we all have our strengths. Some of us have unparalleled rapport. Others can keep a class electrified via lecture when we are secretly exhausted.
Our pets might have made abrasive unintentional cameos in the previous days and weeks. In fairness, we have wholly inconvenienced them by invading their apartments and houses. They were clearly living here before we were.Our children and siblings have had fantastic routines and other lives and memory makers that we have now unintentionally invaded. Temporarily destroyed.
And yet, we press on. We press on for the simple reason that we have the best job in the whole wide world. We are able to hold an audience with the change makers of tomorrow. We can root for them, shape them, and hope from afar.
Our teacher jokes might not translate as well on camera. We miss the comfort of the congenial classroom environment. These realizations are not indicative of our talents or worth. We are in fact teaching on stilts.
As educators, we try to remember other potentially relatable traumas to connect with the trauma unfolding in front of us. We ask ourselves if we ever thought we would be bleaching everything within a five-mile radius so that we may continue to be one of the well. We rack our brains for any moment in our time as students wherein we were both afraid to go outside and not go outside simultaneously. Despite our best efforts at cross-referencing traumas, we find nothing like this.
Therefore, in between reapplying hand sanitizer, eschewing hand sanitizer, and accepting the burning fallibility of hand sanitizer, we teach on stilts. We try to mesmerize our students, distract them as long as we can. We employ the use of the latest technological magic tricks, and we hope our students are still capable of being pleasantly surprised. We pull multi-colored scarves out of keyboards, because this is the best job in the world. This is the best job in the world. They need us now more than ever, and this is the best job in the world.